Priorities and Podcasts 🎙
As I write, I’m finishing my fourth week of self-employment, and I’ve got to say that the time has been absolutely flying. I’m taking it as a good sign – you know what they say about having fun.
In this first ~month of self-employment I’ve been taking it fairly easy, which was the plan. My work-enthusiasm tank was feeling pretty empty after 2021, and I had been looking forward to this time to prioritize rest, seeing family, and learning things I was interested in.
I'm still figuring out my optimal schedule and mix of activities, and these first few weeks were strange because we were traveling for about half of them.
That said, I’ve managed to do what I intended this month. With that in mind, here are my major project updates for February:
Last day at my full-time job
My last day of work was February 11! As I mentioned last time, my notice period was six weeks instead of the three that I'd planned. There were some benefits to extending (tying up loose ends at work, one more paycheck), and I felt good about how things ended.
Most of my first week after leaving work was filled with administrative things (shipping my laptop back, etc) before we went to see family.
Co-hosting a podcast!
Two weeks ago, I became a co-host of the Develop Yourself podcast. The podcast is oriented toward early-career developers and those looking to transition into tech. My friend Aaron asked if I'd like to join him in the show, and it was an obvious "yes" for me.
This is exactly the kind of opportunity I had in mind when adopting a "small bets" approach to self-employment. Part of the strategy behind leaving some of my schedule unstructured is to have bandwidth to jump on random opportunities, and this podcast definitely fit the bill.
I see the podcast as, at worst, an excuse to talk to interesting Internet people. At best, it could be a source of inspiration and a serendipity generator. I'll be giving podcast updates in the future, but in the meantime check out my first episode if you'd like to hear more.
2,000 YouTube subscribers
I've known for some time that building an audience is a long game, and that the growth starts slow and then begins to compound. Thankfully, I'm beginning to see some of that compounding come to the channel. It took all of last year to go from 300 to 1,000 subscribers. But, it only took two months to go from 1,000 to 2,000 subscribers.
I was also able to monetize the channel in late January. I still have fairly low expectations for YouTube, but it'd be great if it could become self-sustaining (covering my editor's salary and the software subscriptions we use). That said, right now I'm continuing to focus on consistency and getting 1% better each video.
Learning for fun and profit
I'm taking both copywriting and music production courses this month. The copywriting course was a blast, and was a step toward my goal of getting better at marketing. The music course is just for fun, but some of the things I've learned are already paying dividends when editing the podcast.
Pete's Picks ✅
- What I'm Reading: I picked up New Teeth by Simon Rich recently. Rich is a humor writer who wrote for SNL right out of college, and he's also the author of one of my favorite This American Life segments, so I knew I could set my expectations pretty high. He has not disappointed.
- What I'm Listening To: I heard Switched on Pop mentioned on another podcast, so I checked it out. I love how these guys break down pop music in such an engaging way. Favorite episodes so far are the James Bond theme and a breakdown of Britney Spears’ vocal style.
Some Recent Videos 🎥
Software Engineer Breaks Down Wordle's Code
my last week of work
How to Pair Program
P.S. - I know this newsletter is late – I had to go to the emergency room last Sunday for massive back spasms. Let me know if you're aware of any cures for back pain. 😊